The question was asked many a times after Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement from Test cricket, who will be Sri Lanka's leader of bowling attack? But Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath put his hand up and lead Sri Lanka's bowling attack till his farewell Test recently played at Galle.
'Herath spins Sri Lanka out of trouble' — it was almost the headline all the time during his Test career. He had the guts to perform consistently, to fight it out for his team even with the bat and to keep things simple despite the drastic change in batsmen's game, which allowed him to become one of the best in the business till the last day of his Test career.
He was the legend which no one knew till the time he played with Muralitharan, but he is the legend which everyone got to know as he did not give up while Muralitharan was playing and his numbers after Muralitharan's retirement are the proof of it as he grabbed every opportunity with both the hands and proved time and again that age is just a number.
It began in Galle, it ended in Galle for Herath but what he did in between is just remarkable.
Let's have a look at it with the help of key numbers.
No left-arm bowler has taken more wickets than Herath in the whites.
Herath is one of the three bowlers to have picked up 100-plus wickets at a venue in Tests. He achieved the feat of taking 100-plus wickets at a venue in his last Test at Galle.
Rangana Herath's SR of 51.3 in Sri Lanka in Tests was the third best for any bowler among bowlers who have taken at least 250 wickets in a country in Tests.
No other bowler has taken more wickets than Herath after the age of 30 in Test cricket.
Interestingly, Herath's all 10-fors came after the age of 30. Moreover, Sri Lanka never lost a Test when Herath took a 10-for. He took his 80 percent of Test wickets after the age of 33 which substantiated his mental toughness along with the fitness.
Only James Anderson has taken more wickets than Herath after Muralitharan's retirement from Test cricket.
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